Saturday, January 12, 2013

EVERGREEN

I haven't done the Guardian's cryptic crossword for a while, but I tried the latest from Araucaria at lunchtime today.  It was headed:

Special instructions: Araucaria has 18 down of the 19, which is being treated with 13 15. This puzzle was originally published in the December issue of the magazine, 1 Across.

As usual, I tinkered around the edges for a while, getting a couple of minor clues without grasping the big ones - and then, 18 down came to me: "sign of growth [6]".  The rest gradually, and I do mean gradually, fell into place.

What a way to announce that you are dying - to construct a crossword on the theme of cancer and palliative care, and still have the cheek to include a clue like: "101o under the ice?[4]"

Cryptic crosswords have made me laugh before, but I have never felt sadness before.  I know nothing about the man save his clues - indeed, I didn't know his real name before reading this this evening.  The tributes below the article and the crossword are beautiful.

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